A former schoolhouse in Donald will once again host a wide array of artisans during this year’s Schoolhouse Pop-up Market.

Organized by April Gates of Blackbird Pottery, the event brings artisans of all stripes to show off their wares. This is the market’s second year.

“It was a huge success last year, so we decided to try again,” Gates said.

While easing COVID-19 restrictions meant the event could take place as usual, it will be outside and weather-dependent.

“We are now safe to resume — and I have a nice line-up of people coming,” she said.

Gates has curated a diverse group of nine artists, craftspeople and upcyclers. Elaborate textiles by Lisa Marchant, woolen home goods by Jenn Manuell and glassblowing from Artech studios will all be on display. There will even be a gourmet pasta sauce maker in attendance.

The idea for the Schoolhouse Pop-up Market was sparked by COVID-19 and the challenge lockdowns posed to artisans.

“As an artist who lives and works in the County, up to that point I had lost 90 percent of my working commitments for the year,” Gates said.

She brainstormed ways to host other artists, provide safe ways to sell work and give guests an excuse to enjoy art in the outdoors.

The market also marks Blackbird Pottery’s sixth year in the Donald Schoolhouse. Gates said a goal throughout that time has been finding ways to host events and cultivate community around art in the historic space.

“We sell work for our livelihood, but I think equally important is the connections you make: people can come and browse, be inspired and have their curiosity piqued.”

Gates said those interested in attending should check Blackbird Pottery’s website for weather updates in advance of the event.

The market runs July 30-31 and Sept. 3-4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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